LUCENA CITY — Quezon police provincial director Sr. Supt. Osmundo de Guzman yesterday was relieved of his post after the death of a town mayor’s son in alleged shootout with members of the Tayabas City Police Station last Thursday.
Calabarzon police director Chief Supt. Edward Carranza said the order came from the Philippine National Police Headquarters in Camp Crame.
De Guzman was replaced by Sr. Supt. Joseph Arguelles as officer-in-charge.
Carranza said De Guzman’s relief was a result of his failure to supervise his personnel in the field and to order the Provincial Investigation Branch and Detective Management to conduct an immediate investigation into the alleged shootout ahead of the NBI intervention in the case.
De Guzman on Monday morning ordered the relief of Laygo as chief of the Tayabas City Police Station and assigned him to the Provincial Holding Administrative Service to pave the way for a fair and impartial investigation.
“But he (De Guzman) should have acted immediately to resolve the case. His action was quite late,” said Carranza.
Carranza said there were some lapses on the part of the Quezon Police Office in handling the case, prompting Sariaya Mayor Marcelo Gayeta to seek help from the NBI.
Prior to the issuance of De Guzman’s relief order, PO3 Christopher John Siman, PO1 Perry Malabaguio and PO1 William Allan Ricamonte, all assigned at the Public Assistance Center, on Monday yielded to NBI-Quezon under chief agent Dominador Villanueva.
The three policemen were involved in an alleged shootout that left Christian Gayeta, 21, son of Mayor Gayeta, and his bodyguard Christopher Manalo, 38, dead last Thursday.
Accompanied by lawyer Russel Miraflor, the three policemen voluntarily executed an extrajudicial confession naming Supt. Mark Joseph Laygo, the relieved police chief of Tayabas City, as the one who ordered the killing of Gayeta and Manalo.
The accused policemen said the incident was a rubout. They alleged that the reported shootout was a scenario designed by Laygo.